Ethnicity, Infertility and Reproductive Technologies
Edited by Lorraine Culley, Nicky Hudson, Floor van Rooij
Routledge – 2009 – 224 pages
Worldwide, over 75 million people are involuntarily childless, a devastating experience for many with significant consequences for the social and psychological well-being of women in particular. Despite greater levels of infertility and strong cultural meanings attached to having children, little attention has been paid politically or academically to the needs of minority ethnic women and men. This groundbreaking volume is the first to highlight the ways in which diverse ethnic, cultural and religious identities impact upon understandings of technological solutions for infertility and associated treatment experiences within Western societies. It offers a corrective to the dominance of the narratives of hegemonic groups in infertility research. The collection begins with a discussion of fertility prevalence and access to treatment for minorities in the West and considers some of the key methodological challenges for social research on ethnicity and infertility. Drawing on primary research from the US, the UK, Eire, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia, the book then turns the spotlight onto the ways in which minority status and cultural and religious mores might impact on the experience of infertility and assisted reproductive technologies. It argues that more equitable access to culturally competent assisted conception services should be an essential component of a transformatory politics of infertility.
'An exciting piece of academic work that is 'user friendly', well structured and thoroughly engaging' Diversity in Health and Care 'This important and highly illuminating book fills a large gap in the literature on infertility and reproductive technologies and should be read by everyone with a connection to the field.' Professor Susan Golombok, Director of Centre for Family Research, University of Cambridge 'This impressive multi-disciplinary collection makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the relationship between infertility, ethnicity and culture and how ethnicity and culture shape the experience of infertility in the West. The editors and chapter authors draw attention to important theoretical and methodological issues and to health and policy concerns.' Gayle Letherby, Professor of Sociology, University of Plymouth 'The editors have done an excellent job of compiling in one place a group of informative and interesting chapters which draw our attention to a new perspective from which to view both the experience of infertility and the reality of industrialised societies.' From the foreword by Professor Arthur L. Greil, Alfred University, New York 'As a multi-disciplinary collection, this volume offers a range of perspectives on how ethnicity, culture and infertility play out in particular contexts. As well as discussing experience of and policy around infertility, the chapters offer glimpses of the rich cultural critique available by examining the majority culture from the viewpoint of the involuntarily infertile minority ethnic couple.' Sociology Of Health and Illness 'Should it be read by everyone with a connection to the field as Susan Golombok states on the cover? The answer has to be yes, if we are to improve the lot of minority groups and work towards better access to assisted conception.' BioNews 'It is technically detailed and also informative to all categories of reader…the book is packed with realities and well presented facts about infertility.' Omlola Ashadele, International Journal of Health Planning and Management.
Foreword Introduction: Ethnicity, Infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technologies Part I: Researching Infertility, Ethnicity and Culture 1. Dominant Narratives and Excluded Voices: Research on Ethnic Differences in Access to Assisted Conception in More Developed Societies 2. Infertility and Culture: Explanations, Implications and Dilemmas 3. Making Sense of Ethnic Diversity, Difference and Disadvantage within the Context of Multicultural Societies 4. Representation of Ethnic Minorities in Research: Necessity, Opportunity and Adverse Effects 5. What Difference Does Our Difference Make in Researching Infertility? Part II: Exploring Infertility, Ethnicity and Culture in National Contexts 6. Commonalities, Differences and Possibilities: Culture and Infertility in British South Asian Communities 7. 'Anything to Become a Mother': Migrant Turkish Women's Experiences of Involuntary Childlessness and Assisted Reproductive Technologies in London 8. Infertile Turkish and Moroccan Minority Groups in the Netherlands: Patients' Views on Problems within Infertility Care 9. Treating the Afflicted Body: Perceptions of Infertility and Ethnomedicine among Fertile Hmong Women in Australia 10. Experiences from a Constitutional State: Ireland's Problematic Embryo 11. Marginalized, Invisible and Unwanted: American Minority Struggles with Infertility and Assisted Conception Glossary Index
Lorraine Culley is Professor of Social Science and Health at De Montfort University, UK. Nicky Hudson is Senior Research Fellow in the School of Applied Social Sciences, De Montfort University. Floor van Rooij works in the Department of Epidemiology, Documentation and Health Promotion of the Public Health Service of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.